There’s some really forward thinking technology built into the diminutive little CitroÎn C3. From the outside it might just be another supermini, albeit one endowed with chunky airbumps and pseudo off-road friendly plastic mouldings, but at some point a fleet manager has clearly dropped into the design office and given them some ideas to explore.
The end result is My CitroÎn. Itís a combination of some on-board software and a smartphone app that keeps a track of your journeys. Itís more useful than you might initially give it credit for, recording everything from fuel economy to journey cost, distances covered, and even the start and finish locations. On top of that it also keeps track of service intervals, checks on the level of fuel in the tank, and even reminds you where you parked the car.
For a company car driver itís useful as a record of journeys made, including exact mileages. You can assign each journey a category as well, enabling you to exclude personal errands or school runs from the totals. For the private buyer, itís a record of fuel economy and costs, and can be used to see just how enthusiastically sons or daughters might be driving. And, for people like me, itís a treasure trove of useless statistics. This month I spent exactly 22 hours and 14 minutes driving the car over a distance of 833 miles. I averaged 57.3mpg, and that cost me £77 in diesel. Surprisingly that was over 65 journeys, or just over 2.3 journeys a day.
Since discovering the app, and the fact that the data can be exported and used in a spreadsheet, it has led to an element of gamification ñ Iím now beginning to get obsessed about increasing fuel economy in order to make the charts all point in the right direction. Iím not sure how effective that will be, but at least I can now see if changing my driving style is actually going to make any difference.
One change I have made is switching from using the built in infotainment system and moving over to Android Auto. As good as the actual navigation system itself is on the C3 ñ itís built by TomTom who know what theyíre doing ñ itís too complex to use on the move. Even when stationary some parts are unintuitive, while the list of Point of Interests arenít as comprehensive as I might wish for. Google has the advantage of constant updates and a user interface thatís consistent and easy to use. The fact that I can simply shout instructions in standard English makes setting navigation a breeze. ìOk Google, navigate to Heathrow Terminal 5î is all I need to do to get to the airport, while routing me around any traffic issues immediately rather than waiting for updates to come across the radio waves.
Date arrived 17th May 2017
Fuel economy 6.3mpg (combined) 57.8mpg (on test)
The C3 is a technical tour de force, with a ConnectedCam dashboard camera, eTouch emergency and assistance system and smartphone integration.
As the sun has come out, I’ve needed the blind for the panoramic roof, but it’s not electric and it’s too far back to reach from the driver’s seat.